Can You Use Apple Headphones for PS4?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Apple headphones can be connected to a PS4 controller for audio playback through the 3.5mm jack.
  • The microphone on Apple headphones will not work with a PS4 controller due to differences in jack standards.
  • An audio input converter for the PS4 controller is required to enable microphone compatibility.
  • Both wired and wireless Apple headphones can be used for PS4 audio with the right adapters.
  • Optimal audio quality requires headphones designed for gaming rather than regular Apple earbuds.


The Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4) gaming console has been a hugely popular system since its launch in 2013. With over 117 million units sold worldwide, the PS4 has become many households’ primary source of entertainment. This leads to the common question – can you use Apple headphones for PS4 audio and chatting?

This article will provide a comprehensive evaluation of using Apple headphones with the PS4. It analyzes the compatibility of both wired and wireless Apple headphones for gameplay audio and microphone use. Key factors covered include headphone jack differences, required adapters, audio quality considerations, and optimal headset recommendations.

Understanding headphone compatibility allows PS4 gamers to have the best audio experience. It also prevents investing in unsuitable equipment. With the right adapters, both wired and wireless Apple headphones can connect to the PS4. However, for ideal performance, gaming-specific headsets may be preferable.

By the end of this article, readers will have an in-depth understanding of using Apple headphones with the PS4. The steps, required accessories, limitations, and audio quality considerations will all be covered. This knowledge will enable making informed Apple headphone purchases and setup decisions for PS4 gaming.

Using Wired Apple Headphones for PS4 Audio

The most basic way to use Apple headphones with a PS4 is by connecting wired EarPods or Earphones to the Dualshock 4 controller’s 3.5mm jack. This allows you to hear PS4 audio directly through your Apple headphones.

To connect wired Apple headphones to a PS4:

  • Plug the 3.5mm headphone jack on your Apple EarPods or Earphones into the stereo headset port on your PS4 controller. This is typically located along the bottom edge of the controller.
  • Navigate to the PS4’s “Settings” > “Devices” > “Audio Devices” menu using your controller.
  • Change the “Output to Headphones” setting to “All Audio” so stereo game audio is routed to your connected headphones.
  • Adjust the “Volume Control” settings as desired so your headphone volume can be controlled separately from the TV speakers.
  • Start using your Apple headphones to listen to all PS4 gameplay audio, music, and sound effects.

This quick and straightforward method allows Apple’s popular white EarPods or wired Earphones to function just like any other pair of headphones with the PS4. Audio will play directly through the headphones at good quality, providing a private listening experience.

Can You Use Apple Headphone Microphones on PS4?

Unfortunately, while Apple headphones can play PS4 audio, their built-in microphones will not be compatible with PS4 voice chat.

This is because Apple uses a different standard for their headphone jacks compared to the PS4 controller:

  • Apple headphones use a CTIA/AHJ wiring standard. This has the microphone connection on the tip and audio on the rings of the 3.5mm plug.
  • PS4 controllers use an OMTP/ACH standard, with microphone and audio contacts reversed.

This means connecting an Apple headphone mic to the PS4 controller will result in no input signal transmission. The mic will effectively be disabled.

To use voice chat, you will need a separate PS4 headset with an OMTP-compatible microphone. Or an adapter can enable Apple headphone mics, covered next.

Using Adapters to Connect Apple Headphone Mics to PS4

To allow the use of Apple headphone microphones with a PS4, you need to install an adapter that converts between CTIA and OMTP standards on the 3.5mm plug and ports.

Two options for enabling Apple headphone mics on PS4 are:

  • CTIA to OMTP adapter – This attaches between the Apple headphones and PS4 controller to crossover the microphone connections.
  • USB audio input converter – This converts the Apple headphone mic into a USB input for the PS4.

Both adapters are inexpensive ($10-$15) and provide a compact inline solution. The USB converter may have lower latency and better compatibility for voice chat.

Once adapted, Apple headphone microphones can be selected as audio input in the PS4 settings. Voice chat in online multiplayer games will then function as normal.

Adapters allow EarPods or Earphones to play game audio and facilitate conversations. However, a dedicated PS4 or mobile gaming headset may be more optimal for long chat sessions.

Connecting Wireless Apple Headphones to a PS4

In addition to wired earbuds, wireless Apple headphones like AirPods or Beats headphones can also connect to a PS4 system. However, some extra steps and accessories are required.

Here are the two main methods for using wireless Apple headphones with a PS4:

Bluetooth USB Adapter

This is the simplest wireless solution. A Bluetooth adapter plugs into a PS4 USB port to transmit audio to Apple headphones wirelessly over Bluetooth:

  • Plug a Bluetooth USB adapter into your PS4. Select pair new device and put your Apple headphones in pairing mode.
  • Under PS4 Settings > Devices > Audio Devices, set output to the paired headphones and adjust volumes.
  • Audio should now play over your Apple or Beats wireless headphones. No cables required!
  • Bluetooth adapter with a mic is needed for chat. Or connect a separate mic to the PS4 controller.

Bluetooth has decent audio quality and range. But potential latency makes a USB dongle best for single player, not competitive multiplayer.

Optical Connection

For higher quality wireless audio, use an optical to Bluetooth transmitter. The optical port outputs pure digital PS4 audio for improved fidelity and lag-free transmission.

  • Connect the optical transmitter to the PS4’s Digital Out (Optical) port. Pair your Apple headphones to the transmitter.
  • In PS4 Settings, set audio output to “Digital Out (Optical)” only. Disable controller speaker audio.
  • Crisp wireless stereo game audio will transmit to your headphones without interference. Use a wired controller mic for voice.

This method provides excellent wireless audio quality. However, setup is more complex. The optical transmitter and adapter cost is also higher ($50+).

Apple Headphones PS4 Gaming Audio Quality

Apple’s EarPods and AirPods are designed primarily for portable music playback rather than home gaming. While they can function with a PS4, their audio quality may not be optimal, especially for competitive online multiplayer gaming.

Some downsides of using regular Apple headphones for PS4 gaming include:

  • Limited stereo separation – Game audio cues can be harder to locate directionally with less spatial imaging.
  • Poorer bass response – Explosions and heavy impacts won’t have deep rumble.
  • No surround simulation – Advanced surround sound modes are unavailable.
  • Minimal noise isolation – No sound blocking from ambient distraction in shared spaces.
  • Latency concerns -Lag may disrupt gaming, especially over Bluetooth.
  • Lower extended use comfort – Earbuds aren’t ideal for long gaming sessions.

For the best PS4 gaming audio experience, multimedia or mobile headphones should be upgraded to dedicated PS4 gaming headsets. These provide key advantages like:

  • Tuned frequency responses for accurate game audio.
  • Integrated microphones designed for chat clarity.
  • Surround sound simulation for spatial awareness.
  • Over-ear cups for comfort and noise isolation.
  • Low latency wired or wireless connections.
  • Durable construction for regular intensive use.

So while regular Apple headphones can technically work for casual PS4 gaming, serious players will want to invest in a high-quality headset for fully immersive sound.

Common Questions about Apple Headphones and PS4

Can I Use AirPods for PS4 Gaming?

Yes, AirPods can connect to a PS4 wirelessly using Bluetooth or an optical transmitter. This allows cord-free game audio. However, microphone use is limited, and lag or quality issues may occur. Dedicated gaming headsets are recommended for best performance.

Do Beats Headphones Work With a PS4?

As Beats headphones are also made by Apple, they have the same compatibility considerations. Models with a 3.5mm audio jack can connect wired or wirelessly via Bluetooth adapters. But chat microphones and optimized gaming audio will require a dedicated PS4 headset.

Why Don’t Apple Headphone Mics Work on PS4?

It’s due to the different 3.5mm jack standards – Apple uses CTIA while Sony uses OMTP wiring. So microphone connections don’t align properly. A simple inline adapter fixes this issue and enables headset mics.

Is It Bad to Use EarPods for Gaming on PS4?

Frequent intensive gaming with EarPods or earbuds is not ideal ergonomically. The lack of over-ear pads can lead to discomfort or pain over long sessions. Earbuds also provide less immersion than full-size gaming headphones.

Will Any Wired Headphones Work on PS4?

Generally yes, any wired headphones with a 3.5mm jack will output PS4 audio when plugged into the Dualshock controller port. However microphone compatibility will vary. And audio quality may not be tailored for gaming.


To conclude, Apple headphones can successfully connect to a PlayStation 4 system either wired or wirelessly using the right adapters. This allows PS4 game audio and music playback through Apple EarPods, AirPods, or Beats headphones.

However, limitations exist, especially for microphone use and ideal gaming audio performance. Dedicated PS4 headsets are better suited for full chat and surround sound experiences. But for casual gaming, Apple headphones can suffice with the proper setup.

Overall, understanding the possibilities for integrating Apple headphones with PlayStation 4 allows you to mix and match accessories for the best experience. With the appropriate converters, both audio playback and voice chat are achievable at a basic level for gaming on the go or around the home. Just be aware of the audio limitations compared to full-fledged gaming headsets.

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